TOMS RIVER — Toms River North got some revenge on their crosstown rivals Wednesday night after taking down Toms River South-East by a final of 5-2 at Winding River Rink.
Affectionately nicknamed the “Radians” (South Indians and East Raiders) after Toms River South and Toms River East joined forces in 2017-18, the co-op won the first meeting of the season back in December, but it was their adversary to the north that turned the tables in their second tilt.
On Wednesday, it was a four-point night by Ryan Dineen along with three assists from impressive freshman Cole Schneider that flipped the script while goaltender Kat Brezniak stood tall in between the pipes, stopping 23 of 25 shots, including some from point-blank range, as Toms River North proved victorious.
Just like their previous meeting six weeks ago, Toms River North struck to take the early lead as Shea Bontempo found the twine, assisted by Dineen and Luke Heagen, just 1:23 into the contest on what was already North’s seventh shot on goal.
After setting up the first one, Dineen put his slapshot on display finding the back of the net twice in a span of 1:22 that quickly put Toms River North ahead 3-0.
Schneider continued to put up points early in his rookie campaign by adding assists on both goals. He now has 26 points on the season, which leads the team. Matthew Crupi was also credited a helper on the third North goal.
“Coming into high school, I thought it was going to be a little hard,” Schneider said. “Without the help of everyone on this team I wouldn’t have gotten this far.”
Heagen found the net with 1:17 remaining from Dineen and Schneider to cap off the dominating first period for Toms River North, which built a 4-0 lead entering the intermission.
“It feels great to get this win,” Heagen said. “(Last game) we came out very weak and kind of let go of the game and lost it from there.”
South-East made it 4-1 when it found the back of the net with 4:36 remaining in the second period when a pass that split the defense from Alex Waldron sprung Brandon Coyle in on a breakaway who made no mistake burying his eighth marker of the season.
Patrick Dowds answered for North, finishing the play started by Anthony Swanson and Crupi to make it 5-1 at the second intermission.
Zander Taaffe scored the lone goal of the third period assisted by Waldron and A.J. Graziosi to account for the final 5-2 score.
Brezniak made 23 saves for North while sophomore goalie Mark Bish made 33 for South-East.
At 6-8-1, Toms River North inches closer to having a .500 record needed to qualify for the NJSIAA Public A state playoffs come late February.
Toms River South-East falls to 2-8-1 and are now winless in seven straight.
The “Radians” will be back in action on Thursday January 11, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. against Freehold Township at Winding River. The Mariners will next play Friday January 12, 2018 against St. Rose / Donovan Catholic at 8:00 p.m. at Winding River.
Written by Casey J. Krish / @CaseyKrish
Special to HockeyClan
Photos by Jessica Rabstein / @JRabstein
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